Wasted Heart by Lynn Galli is book one in her Virginia Clan series. In this book, we meet Austine ‘Austy’ Nunziata, an Assistant US Attorney, who has just moved to Seattle to try to get over being in love with her best friend, Willa. Her married best friend, Willa. She figured that moving away from Virginia would give her the distance to move on, but she’s only moved to the city where the other half of Willa’s business is located. Baby steps, right? Unfortunately, her plan to remedy her love life doesn’t work, because she keeps getting visits from the object of her unrequited, and unknown, love. Enter Agent Elise Bridie of the FBI. Elise is working with Austy on a couple of cases as her expert tech witness, and to Austy’s surprise, she feels something spark between Elise and herself. The real question is can she let go of her feelings for Willa before she loses a once in a lifetime chance with Elise?
Austy is a great character. She’s nerdy smart, doesn’t realize how attractive she is, and full of quirky habits that make her neurotic and endearing. She’s shy, easily embarrassed, and prone to panic attacks, thanks to an unfortunate incident in college. She’s also extremely private; she lets very few people into her life or her home, and few people know everything about her. Elise seems to break through all of those barriers like they aren’t even there, leaving Austy confused and bewitched by this intriguing woman.
Elise is equally endearing. She used to be a model and a professional skier, until an accident left her with scars both physical and emotional. She’s extremely intuitive, as well as perceptive, and her detective brain allows her to see details about Austy that no one else has ever picked up.
The Writing Style
This book is such an easy read. Once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down until you’ve finished. The pacing is excellent and the story keeps you turning page after page.
I liked seeing how well Austy and Elise fit each other. Some of the best scenes were those scenes where they exposed their vulnerabilities to each other. Like the first time Elise revealed her scars, or the first time Austy let Elise into her home. Their responses to each other were just so warm, and wonderful, and special that you just felt like they were made for each other.
Be warned. If you read this book, you should be prepared to spend at least the next two weeks reading every Lynn Galli book you can get your hands on. You’ll blow through the rest of the Virginia Clan series in no time, then immerse yourself in the Aspen Friends series (also excellent), and finish with every standalone you can find. When you finally come up for air, you will wonder where all your time and money went. And how soon the next book is coming out.
Excerpt from Wasted Heart by Lynn Galli
Swinging my discarded suit jacket on, I headed out to the lobby to escort my unexpected one o’clock. I’d have muttered all the way out there about my bad luck in getting a replacement FBI agent the day before opening statements, but as I found out in my first week here, the U.S. Attorney’s office doesn’t appreciate nor embrace mutterers. Maybe I had time for a quick online check of one-way ticket prices to Virginia. I could get my ACA job back in Charlottesville where they’d let me mutter all I wanted. Oh, that’s right, best friend, in love with, married, great partner – lesbian suckage!
I rounded the corner of the paralegals’ maze of cubicles and into the clerks’ concourse hidden from view of the lobby by the attorneys’ mail boxes. Once the security door swung open, I stepped behind the receptionist’s desk. Mary glanced over and raised a two fingered wave as she spoke softly into her headset while staring down at the telephone equivalent of Battleship. All those red lights made it look like most of her ships were sunk.
Two attorneys who annoyed me by constantly quoting South Park in staff meeting stood chatting in the lobby. A dazed looking man sat in a comfy chair staring at a rather beautiful, brunette woman directly opposite him. Another woman sate on the couch facing the receptionist, one leg crossed over the other, bouncing like someone kept hitting her patellar tendon. One of the chatterbox attorneys nodded his head in my direction, necessitating a smile on my part. His eyes immediately went back to focusing on the woman sitting across from the dazed man. His cohort made an obvious move of turning to stare at her as well. Perhaps she wasn’t wearing any underwear, and they were hoping for a Basic Instinct moment. More likely it had to do with the fact that she was as stunning as a movie star, and even without flashing her crotch, most men would be mesmerized. I like women; I should be mesmerized. Damn! Married, Virginia-living, best friend.
I walked up to the leg bouncing woman. “Hi, I’m Austine Nunziata. I guess you’re my new computer science expert? What happened to Jake?” The bounce stopped so she could stare blankly at me. Perfect, quick on the uptake, she’ll make an outstanding expert witness.
“He had a death in the family and took a short sabbatical to deal with the estate.”
Poor Jake. I’d have to remember to send him a condolence card. The news startled me enough that I didn’t immediately realize that Bouncy-Leg hadn’t opened her mouth. A ventriloquist? That so wouldn’t go over well with the jury.
To my right, the object of my colleagues’ ogling stood from her seated position. First in my class at Maryland, and I just now realized that Gorgeous was my FBI agent. Let’s not even mention third in my law school class at UVA. What was I saying about being quick on the uptake?
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781935611325
- Publisher: Penikila Press